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Old 03-10-2009, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2010 Honda Insight: share your opinions

The price on the Insight was just released, and it comes in at $20,470 with the destination charge.

2010 Honda Insight officially priced at $20,470*

Here's what I think:

At just over 40 MPG (EPA), the Insight is no Prius, not even a Metro, in terms of efficiency. It is, however, relatively affordable, fun to drive, and hip, according to most reviews. Even so, 43 MPG highway is pretty unimpressive for a car that's designed to be an efficient hybrid. In comparison to the 2009 Honda Fit (33 MPG hwy), the Insight is reasonably good.

The Insight draws heavily on the Fit parts bin, so I bet much of the price difference between the Insight and the Fit is in the IMA hybrid system. Given that IMA is a pretty mild hybrid system, IMA is not very relevant to the MPG at highway speeds. Therefore, the Insight's 43MPG highway rating is primarily the result of good aerodynamics, a small gas engine, and tall gearing.

With that in mind, I'd like to see a $15k Fit with some aero improvements, tall gearing, Honda's 1.3L gas engine, and no electric motor. Said an other way, chuck the IMA system out of the Insight and build me an aerodynamic, light, affordable highway car.

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Old 03-10-2009, 04:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think we should jump to conclude that the mileage will suck too quickly. The car gets 61 mpg US in the japanese test cycle, so it's clearly up to that kind of mileage (and better) for drivers like us.

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Old 03-10-2009, 05:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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From reading reviews, I think it is safe to say that the US test cycle is killing the mileage estimates. Many non-hypermilers are getting in the 60s just by following the eco-assist. I think that given the price, size, efficiency and Honda reliability, this is an incredible car. If you compare it with a Civic EX Auto (with Nav), you don't really pay any extra for the hybrid drive train which means you are saving money on the first fill-up. Of course, it isn't extraordinarily cheap and it probably can't get the same kind of fuel economy as a Prius but, it is going to get hybrids into the hands of alot of people.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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SVOboy-
Yeah, you're probably right. I wouldn't be surprised if 55-60MPG is doable on US highways in an '09 Insight. Even so, based on how well you've done with your VX-powered CRX, I bet Honda could make a non-hybrid, low-drag car on a Fit platform with a tiny gas engine that could come close to your CRX's MPG. Without IMA and with a spartan interior, my proposed 2010 Fit CRX HF Value Edition could probably manage 55mpg highway with tall gearing and cost closer to 13k.

jmonroe-
I see your point, but we all know that pricing can get pretty bloated with options like Nav. Personally, I want a stripped-down interior, possibly without A/C, and I'll enjoy the reduced price and curb weight.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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1337 -

My only beef with all hybrids is that I'm a manual tranny snob. Ignore the EPA. The real test will (as always) be with the Hypermilers. I wouldn't bet on the Insight beating a Prius, but I'll be happy if it does.

As far as options go, I think the Honda manufacturing model isn't geared for adding/subtracting lots of options. Go to the Honda website and try to configure a Civic Coupe with A/C (for "car-guests", not me) but without power window and locks. Can't do it :



I can, however, do this with a (soon to be defunct?) Pontiac Vibe.

CarloSW2

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Old 03-10-2009, 08:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337 View Post
With that in mind, I'd like to see a $15k Fit with some aero improvements, tall gearing, Honda's 1.3L gas engine, and no electric motor. Said an other way, chuck the IMA system out of the Insight and build me an aerodynamic, light, affordable highway car.
I like your thinking.

I wonder if anyone outside of this forum thinks that way: Buy a $15k Fit (or a used '09 next year for less), spend an additional $2 - 4k on professional-looking (if you care) aeromods plus a new 5th gear to get it into the high 30's / low 40's on the highway.

Too bad the motor swap option isn't really an option.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We need a professional aeromodding shop to open up somewhere,
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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MetroMPG-

I like that idea, but I really don't care about interior room, nor do I care about looks. If I were going to spend that cash on a used car, I'd find a first gen Insight manual. Or, I could even buy a Metro or a CRX.

My point is, I'd like to see a new, stock car with the interior specs of a Versa Base, the aero-optimization of the Insight (new or old Insight), the handling of the Fit, and the low-displacement of the 1.0L Metro.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How do you like the new Ford Fiesta for those specs?
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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SVOboy-
Good call. I'll be first in line to test drive one. Hopefully an ecomodder will buy one so we can all see what kind of MPG a skilled driver can manage.

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